Posts Tagged ‘skills’

Working with Young People in East London

Posted on 9th June 2014 by

On Friday Nick and I were in London visiting Focus E15 – A Foyer for young people in the London Borough of Newham. They provide support in either a residential or non-residential basis with issues around housing, training, employment and personal development with 90 self contained units it is a busy, vibrant centre

We were  there for the launch of their hyperlocal website – East London Know How. The website has been developed as part of a programme we’ve been working on with them with to improve the relationship the residents of the  foyer have with each other, and the wider community.

I’ve been working with them to  deliver a social media surgery package to support them to use online tools that will improve their communication skills and the website is an opportunity for the residents to connect with each other and to showcase their hidden talents to the world.

Jon Harris and Alisia Myran arranged Fridays launch and are two of the residents who have been involved with the project from the beginning.

Jon uses the site to look outside of the Foyer to share news of things going on and any special offers he sees in shops to make shopping and socialising locally affordable. Alisha uses the site to look inwards - to showcase the talents of the residents to show the outside world that there is more to the people that live there then may be perceived.

I really enjoyed working with this group and they really seemed to enjoy the informal approach of the surgeries – here’s what Alisha has to say about her part in the project.

David Ahern the Foyer support worker had this to say about the benefits of this approach for the young people:

7 principles for digital mentors

Posted on 29th October 2012 by

Low Hill Social Media Surgery 11th October 2012

Last week I worked with VCS Learning Solutions in Manchester to train a group of people who are, or will shortly be, running social media surgeries in different areas of north west England.

A slide I showed describes seven principles for digital mentors, originally created by Stuart Parker. The principles aren’t online now, so I’ve reposted them here with Stuart’s permission.

These principles closely match the skills and qualities required of a social media surgery manager, in my view, and I hope you find them useful.

Attentive: Listen up and listen well. Understand needs, fears and desires.

Impartial: While you may be a fervent believer in a service or platform, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be right for others.

Social: Bow down to the network. Your fellow mentors are the key to achieving digital mentor nirvana.

Friendly: Confidence won’t improve with negative vibes.

Passionate: Believe in the positive changes technology can bring to everyone’s lives.

Lifelong: Understand that this is lifelong learning for everyone, Digital Mentors included.

Innovative: Recognise new and developing technologies and how they can be of benefit to everyone.

Photo: Low Hill Social Media Surgery courtesy of Wolverhampton Homes.

What skills do I need to become a social media surgeon?

Posted on 21st March 2012 by
two people ata a social media surgrey laughing

A Social Media Surgery in Dudley – image from Gavin Wray

This was the question Beatrice asked me. She wasn’t sure if she could help as a surgeon at one of these events designed to support local community and voluntary organisations in a relaxed one to one format:

I would like to make myself useful helping other people and I would like to know what skills I would need to be a good social media surgeon.

I am not a technical person by background. I have, however, spent a fair amount of time on the internet and it would be good to know what skills would be in demand at such an event.

It seems I have a bit of time to mug up on skills before the event but I’d be grateful for any advice on where to focus. Twitter is my platform of choice. I have just splashed out on a camcorder and digital recorder but I doubt I will feel confident with these tools before the event. Can I still be a useful person if I stick to Twitter/Facebook/general internet skills?

Oh yes – very. The fact that Beatrice wants to help is really the most important skill/thing she needs – but I also replied with:

  1. Ability to ask simple questions like “what are you trying to achieve” or perhaps  “how do you use the web at the moment”
  2. Willingness to listen to the answers
  3. Enough knowledge/experience of say twitter or blogging or facebook to be a couple of steps ahead of the person you’re helping.
  4. Patience, willingness to ask for help from another surgeon if they ask you something you can’t answer (including ability to google to answer questions you can’t answer)
  5. Ideally a laptop or similar so you can show people how the social web works in your experience.

That’s about it really! A sense of fun helps too (see the pic above of “surgeon” and “patient” in Dudley).

For other thoughts on keeping it simple at surgeries please see our recipe and later clarification.